What is Quality Control (QC)?
Quality Control, or QC for short, is a set list of procedures that help to ensure the products manufactured fulfill the set quality standard and criteria. Ensuring that the products produced pass all the quality control tests, requires the trained staff to be strictly vigilant. The staff undergoes rigorous training to help them understand the importance of quality control and how to carry out various quality control tests. The staff that carries out the QC tests is known as Quality Control Inspectors. QC is essential for all industries, such as automobiles, pharmaceuticals, and especially the food industry, including meat and poultry.
Why is Quality Control Important?
QC is important as it helps to ensure that the products that are delivered to the customers are of a certain standard that is deemed fit for consumption and/or utilization. With QC, you can make sure that the products produced are all homogenous. Moreover, industries are required to meet certain standards for them to be allowed to sell their products to the general public. These standards are set by various regulatory bodies, such as the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).
When you produce uniform and quality controlled goods, it becomes a lot easier for your business to expand. This is because, with uniform quality, you can always be sure that your customer will be satisfied and will continue to purchase from you.
The Quality Control Methods And Their Importance In Different Industries
The quality control processes are constantly reviewed and modified by experts to help ensure the end product’s quality and the standard are never compromised at any cost. This is particularly important in the food and beverage industry that produces goods that are consumed by the public.
The food and beverage industry produces goods that are very much likely to be infected by various food-borne diseases, such as Typhoid. Companies that deal with meat and poultry are particularly at a higher risk of food-borne illnesses and must take all the precautionary measures to ensure that the food they sell is free from all pathogens and is safe for human consumption. All meat and poultry businesses must strictly follow all the guidelines set by the HACCP. These guidelines have been proven to control and prevent any food safety hazards.
Whether it is the food and beverage industry or the leather manufacturing industry, all industries are striving to improve their QC standards for customer satisfaction. QC is essential for all modes of business, including the B2B and B2C models.
The Quality Control method for every industry is more or less the same. Broadly, these methods can be classified as the following:
The Quality Control Methods Discussed In Detail
Quality Control methods predominantly involve inspection of various processes, samples, and products.
Some of the quality control methods are:
As the name suggests, this quality control method involves the inspection of the final products that are produced. It is generally recommended that this method should be performed regularly to help lower the number of faulty goods being produced. However, every company has its budget for conducting product inspections.
Product inspection is of two types:
- Sample Inspection or Partial Inspection
This method involves the inspection of only a few units of the entire batch produced. If the selected units are labeled as being of poor quality, only then the entire batch produced is inspected thoroughly. This is a quick and less expensive way of monitoring the produce.
- 100% Inspection
Unlike the sample inspection method, this method involves a thorough inspection of the entire batch, to ensure no faulty goods are being sold to the customers. This type of inspection is very useful and is highly recommended for meat and poultry goods. However, certain food products, such as all bakery goods, cannot be inspected as this can cause some bakery goods to crumble and deform, making them unsuitable for selling.
This method involves the inspection of all the equipment, raw materials, and types of machinery used during the production of goods. This inspection method is a very thorough one and it helps to ensure that there are no wastages of the resources, and also ensuring the product quality is never compromised.
This quality control method is conducted after the inspections are done. Data collected is analyzed to help identify any source that leads to the production of faulty goods.
This method is more concerned with the designing of the product that than the manufacturing process to help in tackling any discrepancies in the production process before they even occur.
This is a commonly used method that involves a graph. The x-axis shows the number of samples tested and the y axis shows the degree to which the discrepancies are accepted. This method involves randomly choosing the produced goods and analyzing them for any variations. This is a great way to find out if the defects in the produced goods are occurring due to any systemic issues or just randomly.
For meat and poultry, the quality control methods are set by regulatory authorities. The factors discussed below must be checked for or controlled.
The Quality Control Check set by the HACCP are:
–Conducting hazard analysis
This involves a chemical, physical or biological substance or cause that can cause any illnesses or injuries to the consumer.
–Pinpoint Critical Control Points
If the critical control points are not controlled, they can cause hazards. These critical control points include chilling temperatures and testing for contaminants.
–Establishing Critical Limits
The critical limit is a maximum or minimum value of biological, chemical, or physical parameters that can be controlled. This helps to prevent, reduce or eliminate any food hazards from occurring.
–Establish Critical Control Point Monitoring Procedures
Certain procedures need to be established to help monitor the critical control point.
–Establishing Corrective Actions
Whenever there is any deviation from the critical limit, corrective action has to be taken to help prevent any food hazards from occurring. One such example of corrective action is to ensure that any defective product is not delivered to the customer.
–Establishing Recordkeeping Procedures
Recordkeeping helps in tracing any incidents of food hazards. Recordkeeping is also essential to show as proof in case the HACCP asks for it.
All HACCP systems of meat and poultry businesses are required to be systematically verified and this helps to confirm that all critical control points are accurate.
Management of the Quality Control Processes By Effective Companies
Digitize and Automate day to day activities
Having a quality control process can be very beneficial for businesses, but managing these processes manually is extremely difficult. Agtech Industry leaders including feedlots, processing plant, farms, slaughter and packaging firms have moved towards digitizing processes across the value chain. That has not only helped them identify the problem areas in no time, but also enabled them to take preventive actions beforehand. The digital solutions especially prepared for agtech industry mad it easier for the firms to minimize recall chances and comply with the USDA by keeping track of all activities and respective SOPs.
1- Automating monitoring processes ensures that things happens on schedule and with less chance of error—and zero chance of human error.
2- In addition, automation can help to reduce the time spent doing manual checks, allowing your staff to perform more duties quickly and efficiently.
1- Look for a products or solutions that allows you to access real-time data on any electronic dashboard at any time.
2- Digital alert systems are always preferred to keep track of compliance activities.
Follow 6 steps Method
If you are not too sure how to go about it, then we have discussed some steps below:
1. Set your quality standards
For every department of your business, you will have separate quality standards. For the most part, regulatory bodies do provide businesses with guidelines, but for certain departments, there are none provided by them, such as your customer care team.
2. Choose the quality standards you would like to focus on
The best approach is to focus more on the quality standards that have a greater impact on your sales and profits
3. Deliver quality by creating operational processes
Having better and well thought operational processes will surely lead to the production of good quality products. It helps in better optimization of the whole production process.
4. Review your results
Rely on software and other tools to help monitor and design your quality control processes.
5. Rely on feedback
Rely on feedback from your customers through emails, survey forms, online ratings and reviews, and feedback forms.
6. Make changes
After you have monitored and studied the results and feedback, you must make the suggested changes to ensure the quality control is always good.
All the points discussed above are effective measures that are taken by companies to ensure the effective management of the various quality control processes.
Quality control is extremely essential in all industries, especially the meat and poultry section. Keeping a track of all your quality control policies and protocols is important and doing it manually is not a viable option. Therefore, you must rely on software that can help you manage your quality control processes. One such reliable company for such software is Folio3, a California-based software company that provides solutions for all your technical needs.
1. Why is Quality Control important?
Quality control helps to ensure that the goods produced are uniform and they meet the expectations of being fit for the purchase or consumption of the public. With a stable quality of products being produced, the chances of losing your customers due to poor quality products are also reduced.
2. What is the difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control?
Quality Control is a process that involves the reviewing of all the production processes to ensure the quality of goods produced is of a certain mark. On the other hand, Quality Assurance is a way of ensuring that the product produced will be fulfilling all the quality requirements that make the product fit for human use or consumption.